Sovereignty over Certain Frontier Land (Belgium/Netherlands)
OVERVIEW OF THE CASE
The Court was asked to settle a dispute as to sovereignty over two plots of land situated in an area where the Belgo-Dutch frontier presented certain unusual features, as there had long been a number of enclaves formed by the Belgian commune of Baerle-Duc and the Netherlands commune of Baarle-Nassau. A Communal Minute drawn up between 1836 and 1841 attributed the plots to Baarle- Nassau, whereas a Descriptive Minute and map annexed to the Boundary Convention of 1843 attributed them to Baerle-Duc. The Netherlands maintained that the Boundary Convention recognized the existence of the status quo as determined by the Communal Minute, that the provision by which the two plots were attributed to Belgium was vitiated by an error, and that Netherlands sovereignty over the disputed plots had been established by the exercise of various acts of sovereignty since 1843. After considering the evidence produced, the Court, in a Judgment delivered on 20 June 1959, found that sovereignty over the two disputed plots belonged to Belgium.
This overview is provided for information only and in no way involves the responsibility of the Court.